- Copyright Page
- List of Figures
- List of Tables
- List of Contributors
- Introduction and Overview
- The Moral Conditions of Work
- Dignity and Meaningful Work
- Meaningful Work and Freedom: Self-realization, Autonomy, and Non-domination in Work
- Work, Meaning, and Virtue
- Work and the Meaning of Being
- To Have Lived Well: Well-being and Meaningful Work
- Do We Have to Do Meaningful Work?
- Identity and Meaningful/Meaningless Work
- Self-transcendence and Meaningful Work
- “Belonging” and its Relationship to the Experience of Meaningful Work
- Exploring work Orientations and Cultural Accounts of Work: Toward a Research Agenda for Examining the Role of Culture in Meaningful Work
- Meaning in Life and in Work
- Meanings and Dirty Work: A Study of Refuse Collectors and Street Cleaners
- Finding Meaning in the Work of Caring
- Exploring Meaningful Work in the Third Sector
- Does My Engagement Matter?: Exploring the Relationship Between Employee Engagement and Meaningful Work in Theory and Practice
- Work Through a Gender Lens: More Work and More Sources of Meaningfulness
- Leadership and Meaningful Work
- Fostering the Human Spirit: A Positive Ethical Framework for Experiencing Meaningfulness at Work
- Direct Participation and Meaningful Work: The Implications of Task Discretion and Organizational Participation
- Accounting for Meaningful Work
- Meaningful Work and Family: How does the Pursuit of Meaningful Work Impact one’s Family?
- Does Corporate Social Responsibility Enhance Meaningful Work?: A Multi-perspective Theoretical Framework
- Cultural, National,and Individual Diversity and their Relationship to the Experience of Meaningful Work
- Bringing Political Economy Back In: A Comparative Institutionalist Perspective on Meaningful Work
- The Meaningful City: Toward a Theory of Public Meaningfulness, City Institutions, and Civic Work
Abstract and Keywords
One value invoked in arguments for taking meaningful work seriously as an ethical aspiration, and for rearranging our working practices to accommodate this aspiration, is that of individual freedom. This appeal typically takes three forms. The first, drawing from an Aristotelian ideal of human flourishing, appeals to freedom conceived as self-realization. The second centers on freedom understood in the sense of personal autonomy or self-determination. The third appeals to freedom conceived as non-domination, which is deemed a precondition for enjoying self-realization and self-determination in work. These freedom-based claims for institutionalizing and maintaining meaningful work are compelling both in normative and empirical terms. Moreover, they are in no way undermined by counterclaims to the effect that meaningful work is not an appropriate public policy concern or that the ideals of self-realization and autonomy can be harnessed to legitimize exploitative work arrangements.
Keith Breen is a political theorist lecturing at Queen’s University, Belfast. His general research areas are contemporary political and social theory, the current focus of his research being questions of political ethics and philosophies of work and economic organization. He has published widely in peer-reviewed journals and is the author of Under Weber’s Shadow: Modernity, Subjectivity and Politics in Habermas, Arendt and MacIntyre (2012). He is also co-editor of After the Nation? Critical Reflections on Nationalism and Postnationalism (2010), Philosophy and Political Engagement: Reflection in the Public Sphere (2016), and Freedom and Domination: Exploring Republican Freedom (2018).
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